LGBT History Month
|LGBT History Month|
|Observed by||Australia (since 2016)|
Canada (since 2018)
Cuba (since 2022)
Finland (since 2018)
Germany (since 2014)
Hungary (since 2013)
Italy (since 2022)
Scotland (since 2007)
Northern Ireland (since 2016)
United Kingdom (since 2005)
United States (since 1994)
Wales (since 2012)
|Type||National, civil rights, cultural, ethnic, sexual orientation, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender|
|Significance||Celebration of LGBT history|
|Begins||February (United Kingdom; Scotland; Wales; Northern Ireland; Hungary)|
May (Germany; Cuba)
October (Australia, Canada, United States)
LGBT History Month is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It was founded in 1994 by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. LGBT History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community. As of 2022, LGBT History Month is a month-long celebration that is specific to Australia, Canada, Cuba, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom and the US.
In the United States, Canada, and Australia, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on 11 October and to commemorate the first and second marches on Washington in 1979 and 1987 for LGBT rights. In Hungary and the United Kingdom it is observed during February; in the UK this coincides with a major celebration of the 2003 abolition of Section 28. In Berlin, the capital of Germany, it is known as Queer History Month and is celebrated in May.
Brazil celebrates LGBT History Month.
Canada celebrates LGBT History Month in October.
Greenland celebrates LGBT History Month.
LGBT History Month has been celebrated in February since 2013, and the planned 2020 event is the 8th. The program series is coordinated by Háttér Society and Labrisz Lesbian Association, events are organized in partnership with other LGBT organization, cultural and academic institutions, professional organizations etc. The majority of the events take place in Budapest, but a few events are also organized in larger cities all over the country, e.g. in Debrecen, Pécs, Miskolc and Szeged.
In 2013 there were nearly 30 events in the cities of Budapest, Miskolc and Szeged. In 2015 there were 37 events, with some held in Tahitótfalu and Csobánka. As of 2019 there were about 40 events for the celebration.
This section needs additional citations for verification. (January 2022)
Schools OUT UK – The LGBT+ Education Charity (a registered charity since February 2015), is the founding organiser of LGBT+ History Month UK. The steering committee of around 10 – 15 people has a majority of current or former teachers. Schools OUT evolved from The Gay Teachers' Group, a socially-supportive network established in 1974 following the sacking of a London teacher who had been 'outed' to his managers by a student.
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in the United Kingdom
LGBT+ History Month was initiated in the UK by Sue Sanders and Paul Patrick, then co-chairs of Schools OUT UK, and first took place in February 2005. After Paul Patrick's death in 2008, Tony Fenwick became co-chair alongside Sanders, then later CEO. In 2016 he was awarded an MBE on behalf of the charity. He died in July 2020, aged 60. Sue Sanders was awarded an Emeritus Professorship by The Harvey Milk Institute in 2015.
LGBT+ History Month is an annual event in the United Kingdom taking place every February. The event came in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 in 2003, the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 as well as the government's proposals to bring in a single equality act and a public duty, although this, in fact, did not come to fruition until 2010. The Month is intended as a means to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against the LGBT community while celebrating its achievement and diversity and making it more visible. History Month has three taglines -'Claiming our past. Celebrating our present. Creating our future', in addition to the 'Educate OUT Prejudice' motto of parent charity Schools OUT UK
The first celebration in February 2005 saw the organisation of over 150 events around the UK. For the second year a badge logo for the month was designed by Artist & typographer Tony Malone, and was reworked by him in 2007 when it then became the corporate logo for the national committee, of which he was a member for the first five years of History Month.
Until 2019, each yearly iteration of the Month received its own mark designed by students of the University of the Arts and later by design students at the University of Bedfordshire. The 2020 and 2021 logos were designed by students from Goldsmiths University. For 2022, the design was opened up as a competition for schools and colleges, universities and youth groups.
The initiative received UK Government backing from the deputy DfES and Equalities Minister Jacqui Smith, although some sections of the press argued against its political correctness, and pointed out that the sexuality of some historical figures is more a matter of speculation than fact. Supporters of the event countered that it is important to challenge heterosexist attitudes in society.
The DfES promised funding for LGBT History Month for the first two years to help get the event off the ground. It is now very well established and has garnered support from other sources. Long standing sponsors include the Metropolitan Police Service, the Metropolitan Police Authority, Amnesty International and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Each year, a "launch event" takes place in November, to build awareness for the following February. These events took place in the following locations:
- 2005: Tate Modern (sponsored by Southwark Council)
- 2006: The Metropolitan Police's Empress State Building
- 2007: The TUC offered Congress House
- 2008: The main hall of the Royal Courts of Justice.
- 2009: The Urswick School
- 2010: The British Museum
- 2011: The Oval cricket ground
- 2012: Twickenham Stadium.
- 2013: Bletchley Park
- 2014: Birmingham University
- 2015: The Museum of the Order of St John
- 2016: Queens' College, Cambridge
- 2017: The Speaker's House, The Palace of Westminster
- 2018: The Museum of Liverpool
- 2019: The British Library
- 2020: The Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford
- 2021: Online (in conjunction with The British Library)
- 2022: Online (in conjunction with The National Gallery)
Through the years many speakers have spoken at the events. These include Ian McKellen, Stella Duffy, Allan Horsfall, Linda Bellos, Baroness Scotland, Barbara Follett, Michael Cashman, Stuart Milk, Phyl Opoku-Gyimah, Tony Malone, and Rikki Beadle Blair among others.
On 5 March 2009, Prime Minister Gordon Brown hosted a reception at Downing Street to mark the Month.
National Curriculum Themes
Since 2011, the month has been linked to a subject in the National Curriculum. The steering committee hope to cover all subjects eventually. There are free resources available on the History Month website. In addition, Schools OUT UK (the initiative's founding charity) also created a unique website of free-to-download lesson plans for teachers – The Classroom – in 2011.
- 2011: Sport
- 2012: Sport
- 2013: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
- 2014: Music
- 2015: History
- 2016: Religion, Belief and Philosophy
- 2017: PSHE, Citizenship and Law
- 2018: Geography – 'Mapping Our World'
- 2019: History – 'Peace, Reconciliation and Activism'
- 2020: English – 'Poetry, Prose and Plays'
- 2021: PSHE – 'Body, Mind, Spirit'
- 2022: Politics in Art – 'The Arc Is Long'
- 2023: Art – 'Behind The Lens'
The Faces for the Year
After Schools OUT UK paid tribute to Alan Turing in November 2012 (the centenary of his birth) at the launch of STEM 2013, Promotions Officer Andrew Dobbin suggested the month regularly feature LGBT figures whose lives have been forgotten or 'straight-washed' by history, to illustrate the group's tagline of "claiming our past", and to give LGBT+ students some of the role-models and heroes their straight classmates had an abundance of. The idea was adopted from 2014, with every February since highlighting the life of a lesbian, gay man, bisexual and trans person. In 2021, the committee were able to add a fifth individual as part of the intention to represent the "+" in LGBT+.
(In order of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, +):
- 2014: Ethel Smyth, Benjamin Britten, Bessie Smith and Angela Morley
- 2015: Anne Lister, Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, Frida Kahlo and the Chevalier d'Eon de Beaumont
- 2016: no faces were assigned to this year to avoid religious upset
- 2017: Jacqui Forster, Allan Horsfall, Emmeline Pankhurst and Sylvia Rivera
- 2018: Kate Marsden, Gilbert Baker, Claude McKay and Jan Morris
- 2019: Mariella Franco, Magnus Hirschfeld, Robert Graves and Marsha P. Johnson
- 2020: Lorraine Hansberry, E.M. Forster, William Shakespeare and Dawn Langley Simmons (the year was also dedicated to murdered journalist Lyra McKee)
- 2021: Lily Parr, Mark Ashton, Maya Angelou, Michael Dillon and Mark Weston
- 2022: Doris Brabham Hatt, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mark Aguhar and Fiore de Hanriquez
OUTing The Past
OUTing The Past is an annual festival of LGBT history. It runs throughout February and into March.
2015 saw the first edition of OUTing The Past, a festival of LGBT History spearheaded by Dr Jeff Evans. The festival started in three venues in Manchester: the LGBT Foundation, The Central Library and the Peoples History Museum. Comprising several presentations of diverse history presented by a mixture of academics, LGBT enthusiasts and activists. Sitting alongside the popular presentations was an academic conference with the inaugural Allan Horsfall Lecture given by Professor Charles Upchurch of Florida University. This is now a yearly event funded by the Campaign for Homosexual Equality. Stephen M Hornby was appointed as the first National Playwright in Residence to LGBT History Month. The first production created as a result of this was a three part heritage premiere co-written with Ric Brady and performed across the weekend called "A Very Victorian Scandal" which dramatised new research about a drag ball in 1880 in Hulme.
In 2016 the festival expanded to six hubs around England and the conference had its own slot. The Alan Horsfall lecture was given by Professor Susan Stryker of the University of Arizona. The national heritage premieres were "Mister Stokes: The Man-Woman of Manchester" written by Abi Hynes, which told the story of Harry Stokes a Victorian trans pioneer and "Devils in Human Shape" by Tom Marshman, which dramatized Georgian sodomy trials in Bristol.
In 2017, there were 18 venues round the country and by now over a hundred presentations on LGBT history had been given. The Alan Horsfall lecture was given by Diana Souhami. The national heritage premieres were "The Burnley Buggers' Ball" by Stephen M Hornby, which told the story of the first public meeting to establish an LGBT Center in the UK in 1971 at Burnley Library, and "Burnley's Lesbian Liberator" by Abi Hynes, which told the story of one of the first demonstrations in support of a woman sacked for wearing a Lesbian Liberation badge by the Burnley & Pendle Bus Company in 1978.
In 2019 there were 18 venues including the first international events in the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Norway and New York. The lecture was given by Dr Jeffrey Weeks in Belfast. The national heritage premiere was "The Adhesion of Love" by Stephen M Hornby, which toured to a number of venues in the North West of England. It told the story of a visit by a member of the Eagle Street College to Walt Whitman in 1891. The festival also premiered another play, A Queer Céilí at the Marty Forsythe, commissioned by Dr Jeff Evans and based on events in Ulster's LGBT+ history that he witnessed first hand. It was performed in the very social club described in the script. The play earned actor Christopher Grant a nomination as best supporting actor at the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2020
From 2016, Schools OUT UK has partnered with several contract publishers to produce magazines as an Official Guide to LGBT History Month, putting 35,000 copies of their publication into every secondary school in the UK, plus community spaces, charities and businesses. The magazine had introductions from the leaders of all the main political parties and the Mayor of London. The magazine's Diversity Dashboard runs job adverts and events listings from LGBT-friendly employers and the community.
In 2020 Scotland's theme was "What have we learned? 20 years since the repeal of Section 28."
LGBTQ+ History Month originated in the United States as Lesbian and Gay History Month, and was first celebrated in October 1994. It was founded by Missouri high-school history teacher Rodney Wilson. Wilson, the first openly gay public school teacher in Missouri, originated the idea, served as founder on the first coordinating committee, and chose October as the month of celebration. Among early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee were Kevin Jennings of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN); Kevin Boyer of the Gerber/Hart Gay and Lesbian Library and Archives in Chicago; Paul Varnell, writer for the Windy City Times; Torey Wilson, Chicago area teacher; Johnda Boyce, women's studies graduate student at The Ohio State University and Jessea Greenman of University of California, Berkeley. Many gay and lesbian organizations supported the concept early on as did Governors William Weld of Massachusetts and Lowell Weicker of Connecticut, Mayors such as Thomas Menino of Boston and Wellington Webb of Denver, who recognized the inaugural month with official proclamations. In 1995, the National Education Association indicated support of LGBT History Month as well as other history months by resolution at its General Assembly.
October was chosen by Wilson as the month for the celebration because the first and second LGBT Marches on Washington, in 1979 and 1987, were in October; National Coming Out Day is on 11 October, chosen to mark the date of the Second March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987, and October is within the academic calendar year. LGBT History Month is intended to encourage honesty and openness about being LGBT.
While it was first known as Lesbian and Gay History Month, the coordinating committee soon added "bisexual" to the title. It has subsequently become known as LGBTQ+ History Month. The event has received criticism from conservative groups, such as the Concerned Women for America and others who believe it to be a form of "indoctrination".
In 2006, Equality Forum began picking 31 LGBTQ icons from all over the world through all eras of history and highlighting one each day in October. In 2011, Equality Forum introduced an internal search engine for all Icons from inception in 2006 to present. such as African-American, athlete, California, Germany, HIV/AIDS, Military, Religion, Transgender, Youth; visitors to the site will be provided with links to all Icons in that category.
In 2012, for the first time, two American school districts celebrated LGBT History Month. The Broward County school district in Florida signed a resolution in September in support of LGBT Americans, and later that year the Los Angeles school district, America's second-largest, also signed on.
The LGBTQ+ Cuba History Month had its first celebration in May 2022, to celebrate the history of the LGBTQ+ Cuban community throughout the month of May. The event showcases the work of the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) and seeks to strengthen education and debate on the Family Code and promote the visibility of LGBT rights in Cuba. Historian Raúl Pérez Monzón told Inter Press Service "we want to rescue the history of people with non-heteronormative sexualities and create spaces to promote research". Juan Carlos Gutierrez Perez of the University Marta Abreu of Las Villas, a festival co-organizer, said a “great wave of conservative religious fundamentalism has been developing in Cuba”.
In Berlin, it is known as Queer History Month instead of LGBT History Month. Every year it takes place in May. It is to educate and help people deal with sexuality, sexual diversity, and anti-discrimination in small projects.
During Queer History Month (QHM), people are able to find detailed lessons on queer history suitable for both school and non-school education. Also, educational institutions provide education to schools and youth institutions directly.
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- History of lesbianism
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